Skyline times?

General Palm Springs area.

Re: Skyline times?

Postby Ed » Tue Jun 26, 2018 12:58 pm

I calculated the gradient for maximum vertical speed with Tobler's Function, on a spreadsheet with 1 degree increments. With two interpretations of Tobler's speed, slope speed and horizontal speed, e.g., as you would calculate from distance on a map. Not much difference. Vertical speed is maximized for about 15-16 degrees, with vertical speed about 1700 feet per hour in both cases. 15-16 degrees is about 1400-1500 vertical ft/mile, which is very steep. Does not seem realistic to me. On any surface that steep, foot placement becomes an issue. I suspect Tobler's Function was fitted to data with lower slopes, and is less accurate when extrapolated to steeper ones.
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Re: Skyline times?

Postby pdforeme » Tue Jun 26, 2018 9:52 pm

thanks on these;

another way of posing my question; if i want to ascend 3,000 foot hike, and there's a old route "straight up" versus the new route "longer and flatter".....which is faster? (not asking about fun, or roughness, just "so slowly straight up" versus go a lot faster but over a longer distance

The question sort of comes from a hike last weekend; 2700 vertical, trail w almost no switchbacks was 1.4 miles in length and then about .75 between start and summit on a pure xy plot. As i moved at 1 mph but then adding in the catch your breath points it was well under 1mph, i wonder if the flatter trail would have gotten me to the top faster
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Re: Skyline times?

Postby RichardK » Wed Jun 27, 2018 5:23 am

Much of uphill and downhill times depends on individual levels of both fitness and sure footedness. A friend and I were once at the last, steep uphill to Baldy on the Devil's Backbone trail. A lady I recognized from the San Gabriel's board went by flying. We struggled up the steep slope while she disappeared onto the summit plateau in seconds. My friend, a retired Marine, commented that it takes continuous, hard training to maintain that level of fitness. It didn't hurt that she was half our age. I don't like coming down steep, loose slopes. It seems that my feet always want to shoot out from under me. Try having that happen on the Half Dome cables. I have carefully eased down such slopes while being passed by human mountain goats.
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Re: Skyline times?

Postby guest » Wed Jun 27, 2018 10:14 am

Interesting discussion friends,
I think distance & slope (angle), has a gig effect on how efficient one can be as well.

While running the Catalina Marathon for a dozen years, I determined for me, power-walking all but the easiest hills, (2,600 ft. of gain & loss), was better, for several reasons.
I could stretch my muscles by extending my stride while walking, (including arms), and almost keep up with the runners, (most with the short choppy steps typical of trail runners). I was also able to regulate my heart-rate better. Each hill they may gain even more time on me, (as I knew better than hammer the downhills), but by miles 12-14, where a long, almost imperceptible grade was, I'm begin reeling in many of them, as they spent a bit too much energy during the first half. Also, many of these same runners were hammering the downhills, (thinking it's free "energy"), only to be hobbled for the last, long, very painful dirt / paved road to the finish.
This may not work on a 1/2 marathon I doubt.

Re. the PCT outta Snow Creek, that is a good example of the meandering nature of it, (explained by some to help those w/ 30 lbs. on their backs). I head straight up a slope, (which does include using hands a times), get a great workout, then wander down the PCT, (avoiding the pvmt. section). When I broke my wrist, I was a good boy & stayed on the PCT up & back, , and found I got a good workout, could zone out a bit more, but missed the more complete, intense, overall body workout of the direct route.
Plus, if your fairly fit, you have to walk pretty fast on the PCT to get a hard workout, (no easy tasks, unless your like Zip, & wear 5 Fingers & carry 1 bottled of water!).

When I used to climb Skyline regularly, I would develop an imbalance of super strong up-hill legs w/ weak downhill, (something about ecentric v concentric?).
If I would go hike the north side of Murray Hill up & back, I'd be sore for several days.

There's some very interesting data on footwear, & how a too cushioned shoe, "tricks" our brains into thinking the task / terrain is easier than it is, thereby not firing the nerves / muscles correctly. Case in point, Cirque-du-Soleil, has a very low injury rate normally. When they moved to a new venue, the stage had support beams under it, every so many feet. The injury rate climbed, until an expert was brought in, who determined that the athletes where "expecting" a certain, uniform landing surface, but many times, the impact was much greater than their minds / bodies had anticipated, (when landing on a beam).
So, many believe that we need to keep our bodies strong, by allowing them to do what their intended to do, (hence the minimalist & barefoot movement). Many of the trails in our local mtns. are rather hard-packed surface, (dg, clay, rocks & routes), so a balance of enough support, but not overly cushy seems best. If anyone was lucky enough to see Fernando when he was hiking Skyline barefoot, his feet were crazy strong, (& plenty beat up).

On Skyline, there were days I'd avoid the alternate, steeper routes, since I knew it would most likely kick me into the red zone, which would ultimately be slower & harder, (info I attempted to relate to many inexperienced hikers who thought they be able to get to the bar faster that way).
Now if your a Ueli Steck, steep / direct is way faster

For me, doing movements & stressing the system has always worked best, but I realize many aren't able to handle a lot of it. I used to be able to get that on gradual trails when I still ran, now I enjoy steep up, gradual down.
cheers, ss
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Re: Skyline times?

Postby zippetydude » Wed Jun 27, 2018 11:44 am

Hi Scott. I prefer the xc up Snow Creek as well, though at times I'll run up on the PCT and then xc down. And yes, it is so strange to suddenly get real sore from what felt like an easy downhill!

pdforeme, the short answer to your question is that as long as you can actually hike without sliding back or having to slowly and carefully choose your footing, I believe it is universally faster to take the direct route, pretty much regardless of how steep it is.

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